Once upon a time, goddess Niutsuhime woke up late and was tardy to the deities’ meeting in Izumo. The discouraged goddess locked herself up and cried in shame. The villagers became worried, so they gathered outside her door and decided to party. The crowd caused a ruckus, yelling, laughing and roaring “laugh, laugh!”, until Niutsuhime cheered up and finally set off to her meeting. This festival has since then been handed down for generations, and is now a UNESCO-certified heritage event. Villagers still gather every year to carry mikoshi around town (drunk), dunk themselves into the river with the mikoshi, dance, laugh, and have a good time.
Head on over to this very local event in Wakayama prefecture, if you’re looking for a unique experience in a small town.